Hi Everyone –
This Wednesday, I will explore the rich topic of, “What has purpose and meaning in life?” with my wonderful class participants. The question has been on my mind all week, not just in preparation for the class but because the subject brought back memories of my first discussion about “what is a meaningful life?” with my dearest mentor from my college years. Barbara was a brilliant nun, a magnificent teacher, and a mystic – something I realized after I graduated. She captivated my attention Freshman year and I studied with her throughout my college years. Her field was Religious Studies and her expertise was Eastern Religions. By Junior year, some of our classes had two students – can you imagine? The discussions were exquisite, like the day she posed the question on the meaning and purpose of life. After offering this answer and that, none of which mattered to her, her actual intention made itself known: She was taking note of how we thought, not what we thought. She noted that what we thought would change day-by-day, but the capacity to discern – to see clearly – would be the “skill of the soul” we would require as the years of our lives went on. Meaning and purpose, she said, would shift and reshape itself. Would we be able to discern when that was happening? Or what we were being called to do next? Her wisdom, her many lectures, have continued to inspire me and I cannot tell you how often I have thought about her before I teach a class of my own. Barbara held me spell bound decades ago on that day when I first encountered the life-changing, soul-awakening question about the nature of a meaningful life. I have never stopped thinking about it, reflecting upon it, or discussing that subject with others in some way. We human beings are created to seek a path of meaning and purpose. Why, then, should that search be so challenging? Some reasons are obvious but some are unique to the time we are living in. I so look forward to sharing my thoughts on this profound question and listening/praying with you at the Well.